Years ago I read the infamous Sam Hamm script for Watchmen, the one that opens with The Watchmen battling terrorists at the Statue of Liberty. Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of the graphic novel would recoil in horror at such a thought. I believed that the original comic could never be brought to the screen. Even later, when we here at CHUD got to know producer Lloyd Levin, and when people like Darren Aronofsky were attached, I didn’t believe this property could become a movie.
Then I read the script David Hayter wrote for Paul Greengrass, and I was converted. I reviewed that script here, and I still believe that this is the key to making Watchmen work on screen. And I believed that Greengrass was the guy to do it, even if his docudrama style seemed at odds with Dave Gibbons almost Kubrickian art. But even as that version entered pre-production, the jerks in power at Paramount dumped the property. Greengrass was out, and it seemed like there would never be a Watchmen film after all.
But it turns out that Warner Bros, who have gotten the rights to the project, is interested in making this happen, in no small part thanks to the tireless work of producers Lloyd Levin and Larry Gordon. When I visited the set of United 93 a few months ago I tried to get Lloyd to give me the scoop on who they were talking to, off the record. He wouldn’t, but he did tell me he thought we might be happy with some of the people they were talking with.
Now Moriarty over at Aint It Cool has a big scoop – Zack Snyder is in talks to direct the film. He’s currently hard at work finishing up another difficult comic book adaptation, Frank Miller’s 300. I visited that set in December and I can tell you from what we were shown that the film will, at the very least look incredible. I think Snyder did a good, but not great job with Dawn of the Dead (although the opening ten minutes of that film are incredible), and if he shows that he’s matured on 300, I think this could be very good news indeed.
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